The idea of Rape Awareness is a problem because it focuses on something negative that creates fear, anger, rage and more negativity.
If we want our girls (and boys) to grow up safe, then we need to make a huge shift as a country, a shift into positivity; a shift into focusing on what we want and not what we don’t want. Most people, when they think of the word “rape” will experience a mixture of negative emotions. Is this what we want to be programming our children with? Negativity and fear?
It is likely that your kids have been exposed to posters, TV or radio ads, and there is a good chance that this will bring up a number of questions. So how do you answer these?
The trick here is to answer in a way that does not incite fear in your child and to answer in a way that is appropriate for their age and level of maturity. My most basic advice would be keep your answer short and non-emotional. As an example, “Rape means that someone is having sex with someone else who doesn’t want to have sex. This is against the law and these posters are just up so that people know that they have rights and can report it to the police.”
The key to not making something an issue is in your attitude and tone of voice. Discuss it calmly and simply without getting worked up or nervous. There is no need to go into all the horrors of rape and women’s rights and other emotional issues. Just provide the facts and leave it at that.
What we should be focusing on is raising children who are confident, who love themselves, who are empowered, sure of themselves and their rights in the world. Break the cycle of rape and protect them from it’s ravages by telling your children that you love them – unconditionally, always and forever. When children grow up loved, feeling safe, heard and cared for, then this cycle will dissolve. When I speak of children, I mean ALL the children in this beautiful country. For YOUR child to have a good life, ALL children need a good life.
If you want to eliminate rape in this country then stop focusing on what you don’t want (rape) and start focusing on what you do want (a happy, safe, healthy society with happy, safe, healthy kids). Let’s switch off the news, stop buying the papers that sell negativity, encouraging us to focus on what we don’t want. There is absolutely no need for children to be exposed to the news.
Let’s stop chatting about crime in the school parking lot, let’s stop moaning about the fate of this country and let’s get into the habit of looking for ways to uplift and inspire those around us – particularly the kids.
Let’s do away with Rape Awareness Campaigns and replace them instead with Confidence Building in our Youth Campaigns.
Click here to find Protective Behaviours, an NGO dedicated to the goal of creating a safe environment for kids and adults.